How to overclock the Raspberry Pi device? Don’t matter if you are looking for the way to overclock the Raspberry Pi 3 or overclock the Raspberry Pi 2 – the algorithm stays the same.

The only thing should be taken into consideration is that the Raspberry Pi 3 has significantly improved processor performance compared to previous models. Through various techniques such as overclocking and overvoltage, we can get even more power out of the Raspberry Pi 3. While Raspberry Pi 2 device will always be a little bit behind on performance due to basic technical peculiarities.

Overclocking, basically, is the way to boost Raspberry Pi hardware performance by tuning up several device parameters. For that, additional hardware and special skills are required. Also, you’ll need to implement several tests to make sure of changes to take effect as well as keep your device from damage.

As you have already understood, the overclocking of your Raspberry Pi 3 exercises some risks. What are they and how to avoid them, read in this article below

Overclocking Risks and Warnings


For now, there is no official support for overclocking the Raspberry Pi 3, so you could damage your Pi. We are not responsible for any damage you may do to your Pi. If you follow up any instruction in this document, you do it at your own risk!


Overclocking may heat up the hardware up to nearly 90 °C. That in turn, can cause programs to crashes or, in the worst case, damage the CPU or memory chip. To prevent this, the most important chips have to be heatsinked. A fan increases the effectiveness of cooling and is therefore highly recommended.

Do not follow up any instruction in this article without cooling!

Additional Hardware for Overclocking

If you want to overclock your Raspberry Pi, you need to equip yourself with three essential hardware accessories:

  • Raspberry Pi. In this documentation, we use a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B V1.2 with Raspbian GNU/Linux 8 (Jessie) running.
  • Power Supply. A good reliable power supply is strongly recommended. An overclocked Pi 3 could draw 1.5A and more. So, a 2A supply should be the minimum.
  • Cooling equipment. To prevent the Raspberry Pi device from overheating we have to provide the most important chips with a heatsink as well as with an additional fan.

Important: upgrade your installed packages to their latest versions with the command:

$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

At the very beginning and at the very end of the process, you’ll need to check the system performance. You can easily do that with the “sysbench” tool that can be nstalled with a command:

$ sudo apt-get install sysbench

Wel, the equipment we need for overclocking is represented in the picture below to illustrate the whole set.

Overclock Raspberry Pi

In this picture you can see the following set:

  • Raspberry Pi 3
  • Power supply 5 Volt with 2500 mA
  • A fan for build in the chassis
  • Three heat sinks
  • A chassis with gaps for memory heat skins and fan

And here is this set assembled and prepared for overclocking:

Overclock Raspberry Pi with the assembled set of the hardware

Note, that the large heatsink is under the fan, the copper heat sink is on the bottom in this set in this picture.

Checkup Before Overclocking

Before we start to overclock our Raspberry Pi, we have to prepare and check some conditions.

Monitor the CPU frequency

To learn the current frequency the CPU is setup and running, we have to read out the proc files cpuinfo_min_freqcpuinfo_max_freq and cpuinfo_cur_freq from the /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/ directory, where:

  • cpuinfo_min_freq – is the minimum frequency for the “idle” mode
  • cpuinfo_max_freq – is the maximum frequency
  • cpuinfo_cur_freq – is the current running frequency of Raspberry Pi

Hardware frequencies awareness

Monitor the CPU temperature

To know the current CPU temperature, we can run the vcgencmd measure_temp command. To watch the temperature every second, we can run it in a “while” loop...

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